Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Munchies...

Today's post should just be titled-my losing battle with getting my kids to eat all their fruits and veggies and other mains besides pizza and chicken nuggets. phew. 
I know I've mentioned the struggle of nutritious meals and snacks before, but like everything in life, it's constantly evolving.  My two boys go to school and get a school lunch.  That has changed my life and I dread ever being in a situation where I can't pay for five lunch meals a week.  That leaves me with packing snacks (two, healthy snacks-as requested by the school), and then finally, dinner.  
Initially, I was trying to give them balanced snacks-planning out all their dairy, fruits and vegetables throughout their day.  But, it became apparent that this plan was not going to work. For some reason, my kids decided that at school, they didn't like such items that they normally eat with no problem at home.  Combine this issue with my lack of dinner plans, and we needed an overhaul. 

I am easily stressed, and although I know everything works out, and what needs to get done will get done, it doesn't do much to ease my anxiety.  Plus, as mommies we tend to feel guilty about things our littles don't even think twice about.  Trust me, our kids don't give two sh*ts that they had chicken nuggets and pizza for dinner, in rotation, this week.  Heck, my daughter doesn't even care if she eats pizza for lunch AND dinner!  But I do!!!! 

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I decided that I needed a plan of action.  Step 1 was to clean out my freezer to free up some space.  Step 2 was to come up with a list of acceptable, freezable, dinner options. 
Step 3 was to narrow down the list to a month worth of options.  I decided I would do two meat options and two dairy options, double the necessary proportions that way I was cutting down on my cooking time, but still getting enough meals done.  
Step 4 will happen in the next few weeks when I finally am able to venture out to the store to buy some containers suitable for meal freezing.  Because I imagine using the microwave or the oven, I need appropriate, individualized containers.  I'm opting for freezing individually just for the sake of trying to eliminate as much waste as possible.  If I'm spending my time and money, I'd like for it to not end up in the if only my kids would listen to my pleads.  
Step 5 will be to cook, label and store appropriately!  So many times food either goes bad because it's not properly stored, or I end up throwing it out because as much as I think I will remember when I froze it, I just never do.  And because Step 6 is NOT to get food poisoning, I opt for throwing things out rather than risking it!  

As I implement this process, I'll gladly share with you! 

Something else I've decided to do, in addition to having dinner options frozen, is to reduce the snacks I send to school, and keep fresh fruit and veggies around for once they get home.  I have noticed, that is typical of almost all humans, that they will happily graze. If I have fruits and veggies out-they'll eat, whereas before, they were coming back in the lunch box, heated and smashed.  
I ordered this container yesterday, and I already have this one, so I'll have one for fruit and one for vegetables.  
As you can see above, I also added onto my list fruits, vegetables and dips.  Of course, there are way too many options for one small tray, but thankfully because I go to the grocery store at least a couple times a week, I can pick up extra if I need it in addition to my Sunday grocery shopping.  One of our favorite vegetable dips is Tzatziki dip. You can find it in any grocery store, if you don't want to make it youself, and it's the perfect addition to any vegetable!  

Let me know if you have any freezable dinner suggestions, I'd be happy to test them out!

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